Wasting little time, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued summonses for Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy and opposition Senator Thak Lany just hours after Prime Minister Hun Sen filed a lawsuit accusing the two lawmakers of “slander” and “incitement”.
Phnom Penh prosecutor Ly Sophana said yesterday that the summonses – which demand Lany and Rainsy appear at the municipal court for questioning on August 8 and 19, respectively – were approved on August 1, the same day the premier’s complaint was lodged by his lawyer, Ky Tech.
The complaint calls for the pair to be punished for remarks linking the premier and the government to the murder of political analyst Kem Ley on July 10.
Though Lany has denied making the comments, Rainsy, who is living in self-exile in France, yesterday stood by his accusation, saying he believed the government was involved in the murder.
He also cited the deaths of trade unionist Chea Vichea in 2004 and environmentalist Chut Wutty in 2012 as further acts of “state terrorism”.
“I stand by the above comment because there is no other explanation for this series of political assassinations,” he said.
Opposition lawyer Sam Sokong, who is representing the pair, said he plans to ask for a delay in the hearings.
Sokong criticised the summonses’ speedy issuance, which he said was proof of the political motivations behind the case.
Responding, Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan said the court exercised its own discretion in the matter.